Salt Lake City Station Upgrades Helicopter

By Kevin Eck 

dnews Chopper5CameraSalt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL just gave its helicopter the equivalent of a new pair of glasses.

The station upgraded the old standard def camera with a new HD one with a lens that can see objects that are farther away.

KSL wrote about it on its website and took the time to explain how the whole helicopter experience works up in the sky.


The camera was controlled then as it is now: A photographer in the back of the helicopter views the picture through a monitor and uses a console to focus the picture on what’s below.

The pilot, however, is a sort of analog component to the system, said Ben Tidswell, KSL pilot reporter. The pilot acts as a second set of eyes for the photographer, “flying the camera” and helping him see what’s outside of the camera’s frame.

“It really is, at the end of the day, a total team effort. I couldn’t do it without a photographer and the photographers couldn’t do it without a pilot,” he said.

In December, KSL upgraded the standard-definition camera to a 1080 high-definition camera — improving the image by about two times — with a 1000 mm lens, giving viewers a closer shot than the previous lens.

“We’re committed to providing that kind of viewing experience to our viewers here and around the world,” Tidswell said.